In a bid to maintain water flow in Tapi river throughout the year and ensure uninterrupted water supply in Surat, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has initiated work to build a conventional barrage on the river joining Rundh and Bhata villages at a cost of Rs 500 crore.
The river is a lifeline to a population of around 65 lakh in Surat city. During summer and winter, the water flow in the river reduces, depriving drinking water to parts of the city. The barrage will help maintain the flow throughout the year, according to SMC sources.
For Tapi river, Ukai dam is the main source of water, which is stored in weir cum causeway at Singhanpore. According to SMC sources, the corporation treats 1,200 million litres of water per day from the causeway and supplies it to different parts of the city. During summer, SMC has to cut the supply once or twice a week in some areas due to water shortage.
The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 500 crore, of which the state government has already released Rs 100 crore. Tenders were floated and and three expert agencies have shown interest in the project.
SMC city engineer Jatin Desai said, “We have got a grant of Rs 100 crore and have initiated the project. Tenders will be cleared by a committee. A total of 20 million cubic metre of water will stored in the river after this project becomes operational in the next few years. Many new areas added to the city limit will also get drinking water then.”
Sources said that a flyover will also be made on the barrage connecting both Rundh and Bhata villages. The SMC is also trying for a loan from the World Bank for the project.